Anyone been req. to take MMPI for NeuroPsych consult?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by LollieBoo, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. LollieBoo

    LollieBoo New Member

    I am wondering if that is just normal protocol or if they are trying to determine if I'm nuts or a drug-seeker...

    I have been having extremely high levels of pain, but have requested non-narcotic alternatives, but my physiatrist gave me lortab for breakthrough pain, and I have called, asking for Toradol or something non-narcotic when the lortabs don't help (or baths, or TENS, or lidoderm, or meditation, relaxation/ breathing exercises...). I can find things to help me cope with the pain minute-to-minute, but I am spending so much time engaged in active pain control that I have no quality of life.

    I have not expressed that exact sentiment to the docs, but I have made it clear thatt I am struggling under the weight of the pain. I know what the MMPI is, just not why it applies here. My physiatrist has requested a consult with another pain dr.(mine is a PA- he is sending me to MD), and NeuroPsych.

    My understanding was that the NeuroPsych consult was for non-pharmacological pain control, such as biofeedback. Why would an MMPI be necessary? To see if I am exaggerating my pain, or to find "hidden" causes? I'm sorry to sound so cynical and negative, but I have a dim view of the MMPI- I think it is set up in an effort to manipulate the "truth" out of people, and assumes everyone lies naturally. If there is something you want to know about me; ask.

    Anyway, if I am overreacting, please don't hesitate to set me straight... I have had quite the runaround within the Neurology Clinic at this hospital and have become a little uncharacteristically distrusting. I acknowledge that my perception could be blown out of proportion.

    Thanks for your input!
    Lollie
  2. KelB

    KelB New Member

    I don't have any experience, but an alternative view is that you're being given an opportunity to prove how very real your pain is.

    If they expect an MMPI to show that you're faking, they're in for a real eye-opener.

    Doctors aren't comfortable with self-reported symptoms - they always prefer something they can measure or quantify, which is really difficult with pain as it's always subjective and depends on an individual's own pain threshold. Could just be that they're trying to the extent of your pain in terms that they understand, so they can understand what to do for the best.
  3. LollieBoo

    LollieBoo New Member

    But I still feel manipulated. Like when asked to screen for depression, scores are automatically weighted, assuming most respondents will "bend" the truth.

    Grrr.
    Lollie
  4. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    What is a MMPI? This new to me...

    Sue
  5. LollieBoo

    LollieBoo New Member

    It is a 500-question "test" to determine...? There are actually only like 30 of those questions that really count, but they are asked in several different ways (like to catch you in an untruth!). i think it is aimed at catching "alarming" thought patterns... It is all T or F, and a question/ statement might be "I like to read magazines about gardening"- nobody cares about your answer to that question. It is in there to catch someone off guard so that the major questions are treated with a "first answer" response. A major (I don't remember the actual term for the REAL questions on an MMPI, but major will work!) question/ statement might be, "I like to feel physical pain". Or, "I have harmed myself at times."

    The problem is they are so ambiguous and repetitive, that if you have an extremely honest/ hyperanalytical person, there may be red flags all over the place that don't signify anything. (ie: "Well, I have made many poor decisions in my life that have ultimately caused harm..." Or, "Well, if I feel physical pain, I know that I am alive and senscient-- that's good!")

    Many psychoanalytical schools of thinking have done away with the MMPI because it wastes a bunch of time, to find out very little. Or at least that has been my perception.

    Did I mention there are 500 questions?? I will have to sit there, in a chair, reading and filling in little bubbles for approximately 2 1/2 hours!!!!

    I may not survive!!
  6. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    MMPI-2

    (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2) is used by clinicians to assist with the diagnosis of mental disorders and the selection of appropriate treatment methods. Can be used to:

    1. Assess major symptoms of social and personal

    2. Identify suitable candidates for high-risk public safety positions.

    3. Support classification, treatment, and management decisions in criminal justice and correctional settings.

    4. Give a strong empirical foundation for a clinician's expert testimony.

    5. Assess medical patients and design effective treatment strategies, including chronic pain management.

    6. Evaluate participants in substance abuse programs and select appropriate treatment approaches.

    7. Support college and career counseling recommendations.

    8. Provide valuable insight for marriage and family counseling.
  7. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Duh! I do know this test, but I guess I just didn't put it together with a physical condition, but I see from the list above that it is used for them. Now that is a new one. I can see why you are puzzled and a bit apprehensive.

    500 questions...sitting on a hard chair, trying not to over-analyze (like I would)....AAGH! No wonder you are dreading this. I don't blame you, and I guess since it is used in discerning chronic pain, it's a legitimat tool...it's not necessarily used to "find out you're a nut!" In fact, if I were a betting person, I'd bet they're going to find out the opposite.

    Thanks for the response. Do relax and take care.

    Sue
  8. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    Duh! I do know this test, but I guess I just didn't put it together with a physical condition, but I see from the list above that it is used for them. Now that is a new one. I can see why you are puzzled and a bit apprehensive.

    500 questions...sitting on a hard chair, trying not to over-analyze (like I would)....AAGH! No wonder you are dreading this. I don't blame you, and I guess since it is used in discerning chronic pain, it's a legitimat tool...it's not necessarily used to "find out you're a nut!" In fact, if I were a betting person, I'd bet they're going to find out the opposite.

    Thanks for the response. Do relax and take care.

    Sue
  9. CAAnnieB

    CAAnnieB New Member

    Dear Lollie,

    I was given this test as part of a multidisciplinary evaluation at a Pain Clinic. I was allowed to complete the paperwork at home, if I recall correctly. (But my memory is not always reliable due to fibrofog/ memory problems!)I DO remember taking the MMPI!

    The Pain Clinic evaluation included a physical exam, a psychological exam (filling out this "test" as well as other pain questionaires, & meeting one on one with a Psychiatrist or Psychologist), and a Physical Therapy evaluation.

    I'm a very honest person. I always answered everything honestly and figured whatever the outcome; it would accurately reflect the severity of my pain issues. If anything; I believe that the results would back up what you report verbally about how your pain is severely affecting the quality of your life.

    That being said; I can relate to feeling hesitant about psychological testing. You kinda feel like you are bearing your soul to people you don't even know! (Or more importantly they don't really "know" you!) If the MMPI is being given by someone who will continue to meet with you & develop a relationship with you, then I think it might make you feel better if you can view the test as just a part of the diagnostic process. It gives them a glimpse of where you are psychologically with your pain.

    Maybe I'm naive & there's more to it than that! Like I said before...I'm an honest & trusting person. But I still believe that it's not uncommon for chronic pain patients to be given this "test".

    I hope that you can feel more peaceful about this. It sounds like you will have a good team...your Psychiatrist, a Pain Dr, & a NeuroPsych...Of course, the most important issue is that you feel comfortable with all of them. I hope your appointments go well & you will experience relief from your pain soon.

    Hugs & Blessings,
    Annie
  10. LollieBoo

    LollieBoo New Member

    You have settled me down quite substantially. It is not very often that my skepticism rears its uglt head, but when it does, it is a beast! I am very hard-headed. You may have noticed!

    Anyway, I too did some research, after taking some Xanax (lol) and talking to my devil's-advocate husband! I read that there is much more to the personality inventory, although it still does seem manipulative to me.

    Like Sue said, it does seem to be a useful diagnostic tool, but they could put a coloring book in front of me and make me sit on a hard chair for two hours and would still get an accurate assessment of my pain levels! I imagine them walking in to check on me, only to find me lying on the floor, diligently filling in bubbles! Or standing bent over the table... I plan to ask them if I can take it at my personal counselor's office and have her send them the results. Her office is 2 minutes away, so I wouldn't have to sit in the car for an hour-and-a-half just before taking it! Now if they would just call me back!

    Writing has not been easy for me, and if it wasn't for my carpal-tunnel wrist braces, you'd probably never hear from me on this board! I'll make sure to wear them that day. Thank you so much for the pointers, Annie- your personal account helps... I feel better knowing that is is a widely-used tool.

    Hey, jaltair- think maybe they will offer me a high-risk public safety position? That'd be great, being as how I've just had to forfeit my income due to this dd!! lol...

    Thanks again, y'all.
    Lollie